FA Cup Results: Oscar Winner Takes Chelsea Past Stoke
By Deepak Vikraman | January 27, 2014 3:34 PM EST
Oscar sealed Chelsea's place in the fifth round of the FA Cup, scoring the only goal of the game against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian netted the crucial winner in the 27th minute of their fourth round tie, via a brilliant curling freekick, before Chelsea did what all Jose Mourinho teams do well, defend as a team and look as solid as a rock, to see off the challenge from Stoke fairly comfortably.
"We played a very good game again -- the 1-0 doesn't reflect the quality of our game and the dominance of our game," Mourinho said.
"It's a bit of a contradiction because we played so well but we won with a free-kick. Normally when you play this well you win by scoring some amazing goals from open play. We had some fantastic play, individual choices, and very good collective movements against a team that is difficult.
"The freekick obviously makes us happy because Oscar dedicates some time every day after the normal training session to train on a specific thing. We hit the post twice, [Asmir] Begovic again showed how good he is. We had great shots, fantastic actions, great saves.
"The boys played very well but obviously in the last 10 minutes when we don't score the goal to kill the game everything is open with 1-0. They were direct and tried to put some pressure on us but we controlled the game from the first minute, and I'm happy not just with the victory but also the performance."
Mourinho was also impressed by the performance of new signing Nemanja Matic, who seemed to fit in seamlessly into the Chelsea midfield alongside Frank Lampard. "He played very well, very comfortable, with a big stability with Lampard by his side," the Portuguese added. "He was very comfortable on the pitch, for sure he stole lots of balls and his passes were always quality.
"He used his physicality not to dominate Peter Crouch because that is impossible but to make it difficult for him.
"I think he is comfortable in any game because he is good defensively against this kind of team but he is very comfortable with the ball. His left foot is soft, the ball always comes sweet and the decision is always an easy, simple one. The team flies when somebody makes it so simple."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes was not too happy with the soft award for a freekick which Oscar caressed home, even if the former Chelsea player admitted the home side had been the better team over the 90 minutes.
"It was a fantastic strike, but we were a little bit disappointed with the initial awarding of the freekick because we felt there was very little contact," Hughes said. "But you have to hold your hands up when a player produces a bit of quality like Oscar did.
"I thought we stuck at it and we were right in it until the very end of the game, but we didn't force the issue enough to change the game in our direction. Overall I think Chelsea on the day deserved to go through."
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